Silent Hill Betrayal Novel Extremely Detailed Reveal Part 1 : Items, Notes and Puzzles

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WARNING!! MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

If you still intend to read the novel, please do not read further

It is almost time for Silent Hill: Obversion!!!! The sequel to my debut horror novel, Silent Hill: Betrayal. I have wanted to start work on this novel so many months ago, bit held back on it to focus on my other projects. Well, the time has come to start the planning and development of it at least.

Since we are moving towards the next novel, the time has come to share some secrets from Betrayal. This will apply to all of you who have actually read the book. Those who haven’t and are not interested in reading the novel, you are welcome to see these insights, as long as it doesn’t spoil it for anyone who actually does want to.

This is the first part of this series, and there will be more to follow. You will quickly learn that I didn’t just abuse the Silent Hill name and make things up simply to have a SH novel behind my name. Many of the items were given detailed thought, and what they meant to each character.

So without further rambling, welcome to the first part, which features Notes and Puzzles.

 

THE ROOM, THE PAINTING AND THE RED LETTER

Love_letter

He pulled out a red paper which seemed to be singed at the edges.

For anyone that has extensively played Silent Hill 4: The Room, the Prologue of Betrayal should ring some very loud bells. The loudest is of course the Apartment 202 of Ashfield Heights that Trevor, our main character, and his lover Kathy are in. This is just below Room 302, where Walter Sullivan once lived. Another nod to the game is the portrait of the nurse in uniform sitting on a bed. This is of course in reference to nurse Rachel from the game, which was obvious from the inscription of her name on the portrait. Finally, the red letter in Trevor’s mailbox was a nod to the red pages Henry found within his locked room.

Of course, if Trevor had taken the time to read the red letter in the Otherworld, he would have seen a special message from his deceased wife Caroline on it. If this novel is ever turned into a game, the player will have the option to read that note. For now, I am keeping what it was meant to say to myself. Trevor, having no knowledge that it worked that way, missed out on the message completely.

 

REVISED HALO OF THE SUN

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“Well, the two outer circles are supposed to represent resurrection, and the three inner circles are the present, past and future. I’ve read somewhere though that it should never be drawn in blue or black.”

Surprisingly, very surprisingly, people that have played Silent Hill and are ardent fans never knew either the meaning behind the Halo of the Sun, or that the four words inscribed in the outer concentric circles are names. And you can actually interpret yourself if you want. Here is an ancient Hungarian alphabet key you can use; just mirror the letters and you can make out the names yourself.

Of course, I used the same basis when I revised it. The original four names mean nothing to this story, and after Trevor touches the Halo, the four names are wiped clean and his name appears at the top left. When Jay touches it in Cafe 5 to 2, his name appears in the bottom left. Later Kathy touches it in the school, which is why Trevor sees her name appear in the top right. Finally, Philip, Kathy’s doctor brother, touches it in Alchemilla Hospital, making his name appear in the bottom right. When the Hungarian inscriptions turn from red to black, then that person’s life has been claimed.

Here’s another spoiler secret: if you start at the top right with Kathy and go clockwise, that is the order that they are destined to die in.

 

CHARMING KEYS PUZZLE

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Four inanimate objects, once beloved now lost.
Where the ends of roads, albeit but one,
Shatter into the fiery abyss.
The keys of the door to the first host.
The fur and claw be south on the classical sheet.
While the coloured wing, right where the shark’s stability lies.
Cupid marked his target towards an algebraic alley.
In a tree beyond the rising crane drips the sickening beat.
Four inanimate objects, once lost now found.
Placed in their beds, as above so below.
Except for one, connecting them all,
In the centre its love shall abound

 

The first map you see in the slideshow is from Silent Hill 1, the game. In order to use my own images for the book, I created my own version of the map for Old Silent Hill. The Charming Keys is the first proper puzzle that Trevor must complete before he can reach his first objective, Midwich Elementary.

This was to emulate the atmosphere of Harry running around Old Silent Hill, looking for the Keys for Eclipse to open the house door that would take him to the school. Of course, The Charming Keys that opened the door through the pet store had a different meaning to Trevor. Each charm belonged to Caroline and represented things his wife really loved. It was one of the first clues to Trevor that Caroline was indeed in Silent Hill, although at that point he was looking for Kathy.

Trevor and his best friend Jay of course were able to work out what the puzzle clue meant, except for the ‘first host’. It would only be later in retrospect that it would become apparent that the first host referred to Kathy. He never looked back at the poem again once the puzzle was solved, so the inference was lost to him.

 

MIDWICH ELEMENTARY – THE KEYS OF TIME

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Then something about their names caught his attention. He turned to the blood-stained wall that portrayed the ‘Art of Time’, and then back to the names on the board again.

Midwich Elementary is a giant-sized puzzle box. Everything about it screams ‘solve me!’, like a good game of Cluedo. There are puzzles within puzzles, and clues to other mysteries. As Trevor solves one clue, another feature is shown to him that unlocks the door to a silent revelation. With that said, let’s take a look at the factors that influenced the three keys of time, that represented each of Kathy’s personal cultural passions.

THE ART OF TIME

When Trevor reads the doctor names in the school’s Infirmary, it should be clear where the names come from. Not only are they from classical artists, but are the names given to the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, namely Leo, Raph, Donnie and Mikey.

Now here’s the magical part. It was nice to be able to play around with an Easter Egg like this, but I had to somehow make it tie in with Trevor, Caroline and her murdered brother Bishop with the paintings from each artist. Luckily for me, it worked out perfectly. I was able to hide some meanings  in the paintings after all, and here they are. Trevor was too busy trying to solve the puzzle and find Kathy to figure it out. Even in the end of the book, when confronted with the final revelation, he never quite put this meaning together.

I won’t go into too much detail of what was on the paintings, but rather the order of the paintings. In the end, the correct order was ‘The Feast of Trevor’, “Annunciation’, ‘Last Judgement’, and ‘Resurrection’.

The specific meaning to this is simple. The Feast represents the event that actually started it all, Bishop’s murder and dismemberment by all the parties involved. Then follows the Annunciation, which is Caroline’s fall into the Otherworld and her bargain with Raven. The Last Judgement represents the Acts of the novel, where each one would pay for their deeds, with Bishop becoming the executioner. Finally, the Resurrection was Bishop’s plan to return to the normal world and bring the darkness with him.

THE WORDS OF TIME

The second time key riddle is simpler with not as much hidden meaning. It contains one simple Easter egg, one that I had mentioned before. Trevor finds an article in the reserved section of the Library called ‘Ancient Philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle’ by a Professor C. George Boeree from Brahms University. This is actually a real retired professor who really wrote the article, which can be found online.

Now here’s the freaky, scary part. When the Silent Hill movie was made, it was said that the real town of Centralia in Pennsylvania was used as inspiration, as it has a similar history to Silent Hill. You can read the article for more details, but basically also a fire under the town, broken streets and fog ash from all the underground fire.

When I found that Philosopher article, I discovered that the Professor had been at the Shippensburg University when he wrote that article, which is based in Pennsylvania! Not just that, but if you look at the map, the University is so close to Centralia / Silent Hill, that it could have been Brahms University!

centralia

I wasted no time in contacting the university and tracking down the retired professor. He was really excited by my idea, and gave me permission to use his article and name in the novel, as long as he could get a copy of the novel (which he got on the day it was released). I also have permission to use his name as the key journalist in all future Silent Hill novels.

THE NOTES OF TIME

It should be no secret to Silent Hill fans that I brought in the piano puzzle as a nod to Silent Hill 1. I just decided to give it a huge twist. Revealing Trevor’s love for guitars and Kathy’s love for classical music, he had to use one of the guitars to solve the piano puzzle, making sure he used the right notes. No major reveal here, simply some nostalgic return to the first game.

ALTERNATIVE MIDWICH – RUNES OF CREATIVITY

Boiling Darkness

“Finally, something I do know,” Trevor sighed in relief and started naming the symbols from the top in a clockwise direction. “Spirit, Water, Fire, Earth and Air.”

I love runes… I love the natural five elements. So I decided to bring them together in the Alternative Midwich. And the fantastic part of this was that Runes have so many meanings and are aligned to elements, that it was easy to tie each rune to different meanings for Kathy while still using the elements to provide clues to the Runes’ locations.

While Trevor believed he knew what each Rune meant in relation to Kathy, he didn’t quite get their full meaning, which only the author could. It would have been a large leap of faith to realistically believe he could come to these conclusions. So here they are:

  • Earth: Uruz {Strength: invites creativity} > Reference to Kathy’s creativity in the arts and music, while reflecting the strength of the final beast in the school that Trevor would have to face;
  • Fire: Thurisaz {Force, Giant: Facing test or deadly enemy} > Reference to the oncoming deadly enemy, while being the first major tests for Trevor and Kathy;
  • Air: Teiwaz {Tyr, norse god of justice: Strength of purpose/ Resolution of conflict} > Reference to the conflict between Kathy and Caroline, since school into adulthood, and how it is finally resolved by Trevor’s hand’
  • Water: Pertho {Secrets: The birth of something new} > Kathy final reveals several secrets to Trevor, especially how she had known Caroline in school and that Trevor and Kathy’s affair wasn’t just incidental. Birth of something new refers to the birth of the giant immortal hound that Trevor has to face;
  • Spirit: Ansuz {Odin’s rune – Unlimited potential} > The final rune which opens the school Hall to the ultimate battle with the final boss of Act 1

ALCHEMILLA HOSPITAL

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‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?
Lazarus, come forth!
Loose him and let him go!’

Most of the puzzles and items in Act 2’s main location, Alchemilla Hospital, were of my own invention and creation. This section has more to do with Bishop’s murder than Caroline’s suicide, although there are therapy tapes with Caroline that cause Trevor to realise there was more to her death than he knew, and Philip’s connection to it.

Just a one mention though:

THE ALCHEMIST’S POUCH

To create the various ailments that would inflict the victims of the hospital that Trevor would have to face and conquer, I first had to research some natural remedies. One site was really helpful in this regard, and formed the basis for the entire main puzzle that Trevor would have to solve, both in the real and alternate hospital:

Sweet basil- poison, scorpion stings [white]
Catnip – insect repellent, mild sedative [red]
Sunflower leaves – reduce fever (tea) [yellow]
Lemon thyme – treats wounds [green]
Lavender – antiseptic, anti-inflammatory [violet]
Rosemary – remembrance [blue]

Right leg – sting (morgue)
Left arm – mosquito bites (reception)
Left leg – inflamed (elevator)
Chest – fever (exam room)
Right arm – slashed (men’s bathroom)
Face – smashed in (intensive care)

The rest of Act 2 has more to do with Character and Creature reveals than any notes or puzzles though, which we will discuss in later parts.

 

BOOK OF IMANOK

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“{I found it} in a safe in the chief’s office,” Jay smiled. “It seems we aren’t the first to have these problems in Silent Hill.”

After the Hospital, Trevor finds Jay back at the Police Station. There a book with the words IMANOK on it. If this isn’t blatantly obvious, it is Konami spelt backwards, since I didn’t have permission to use their name in the story. It reveals stories of the characters from the games, in the order that the games were released, as if IMANOK had chronicled them from the real lives of people trapped in Silent Hill.

It’s one of those surreal moments that won’t make sense, like a time loop or suspension of animation in a tornado. It served an important purpose though, and not just a quick nod to the series (although this was the primary purpose originally). As I continued writing the piece, suddenly it helped Trevor realise how he could possibly escape Silent Hill, with the help of some mythology. This wasn’t planned, so thanks IMANOK.

 

LAKE VIEW HOTEL – SACKBOY

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So here’s a funny story. When Jay and Trevor reach Lake View Hotel to find Bishop’s remains, there was one aspect I was stumped with. I wanted my own Robbie the Rabbit. You know, the eventual mascot of Silent Hill.

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I also wanted a mascot to stream across novels, and had so many wild ideas that never got accepted. One late night when I was tired, I was playing Little Big Planet with my son’s head sleeping on my chest. The problem popped into my head again, when suddenly I realised what I wanted! Sackboy! Well, not THE Sackboy, but one that would be an item from Silent Hill Resort.

Of course, in this novel he is a key character in the hotel, where the Otherworld creatures are made of the same sackcloth, which we will discuss in the Character section, but in future novels expect to find more of him around as a side item.

 

HEART OF THE MAZE

Maze

Your guilt poisoned me,
With fire that eats me alive.
Your treachery drowned me,
Like a knife in the back.
It was the lie that killed me.

Suicide Mansion was filled with Greek mythology, a favourite of Jay’s who became the main focus of Act 3. To escape Suicide Mansion, he simply had to rely on his small memory of Greek mythology to help him get out.

Into a maze…. All the clues and different means of suicide were taking through to the maze as the solution to the labyrinth. Yet, the meaning of the poem was lost to Trevor completely. Yes, he is a bit of a dolt. Who wants a protagonist that knows everything anyway?

Since he believed Caroline committed suicide, he knew the mansion had to do with her. And he assumed the poem above referred to his betrayal with the affair with Kathy. Yes, the first four lines did. But the final line did not. It was not Trevor’s lies that had eventually killed her, but rather the lying Jay. He had lied about Caroline’s death to Trevor. You could basically replace the last line with “It was the liar that killed me.” Very deep, and way too cryptic for Trevor to work out, but that was what it meant.

 

CONCLUSION

And that’s it for today. I hope for those that have read the book that this was enlightening and gives some more insight into how much work actually went into it, and will continue to go into future Silent Hill novels. Next up will be Part 2: Characters, and some awesome reveals that you would never have known unless I told you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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